One employee of the Arizona Corporation Commission claims to have uncovered wrongdoing within the agency, and that he was offered a promotion to keep silent about it. But now various allegations against former commissioner Gary Pierce, who just retired in December, have been made public, thanks to a seven-page letter written by that employee to the Corporation Commission and the office of the Arizona Attorney General.
The whistleblower’s name is not being published at this point to protect his identity. Among the allegations are that Pierce, along with his friend Ron Ludders from the Conservative Business League, pushed money into campaigns that blasted Democratic candidates for the commission around Election Day 2012.
Pierce is also alleged to have had numerous meetings and lunch dates with the Chief Executive Officer of APS, Don Brandt. These meetings likely violated rules the commission has that prohibit conversations between ACC commissioners and the people that that appear in front of them in cases that set rates for electricity. The whistleblower says that litigation may now arise from this issue about electric rate increases. There is also evidence to tie in Pierce and his sun with some controversies that surrounded APS in the 2014 elections.
All of these allegations are subject to investigation, and no charges have been filed yet against Pierce. But these are certainly extremely serious accusations, and should it turn out that Pierce is guilty of them, he could face some significant penalties.
If you are aware of wrongdoing within your business or organization, meet with the experienced Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers to learn more about your options.